Dandruff Fact Sheet
Dandruff a popular termed used to describe in non-specific and non-technical terms a scaly, flaking scalp condition where pieces of skin fall and appear in the hair or on clothing.
Dandruff is also known as Pityriasis Capitis, a non-inflammatory scalp condition.
Pityriasis Capitis can sometimes involve a yeast called Pityosporum Ovale which thrives on the skin on the scalp under certain conditions.
It is normal for the scalp to shed surface skin cells continually. Combing or brushing the hair can loosen the dead cells.
Persons with dry, flaky skin may be more prone to the visible results of the skin shedding.
Another condition, sometimes referred to loosely as dandruff, is Seborrhoeic Dermatitis.
In its mildest form it involves the normal casting off of the surface cells of the skin on the scalp to an exaggerated degree.
More advanced forms involve serious scaling and redness of the scalp.
Eczema can affect the scalp too resulting in dry patches which flake which can be mistaken for dandruff.
A vicious circle sometimes happens when the hair is washed frequently with shampoos which strip the natural oils from the scalp.
The skin is shed which is then mistaken for dandruff and the individual then washes the hair more frequently, sometimes with inappropriate shampoos, thus stripping the oils even further so the scalp becomes even drier.
Wash the hair frequently with a mild shampoo.
If dandruff still appears, use a specially formulated, medicated shampoo. Pay attention to the instructions and avoid over-use.
Avoid using a damp towel to dry the hair and be sure it is clean.
Use supplements that include zinc and vitamins B, C, and E.
Zinc Pyrithrone or Selenium Sulphide are two ingredients commonly found in medicated shampoos. They slow down cell growth on the scalp.
Selenium Sulphide is an anti-fungal agent and can be used where no active eczema is present.
Some have found that rubbing lemon juice or linseed oil into the scalp can greatly reduce dandruff.
Otherwise look for shampoos with natural ingredients such as seaweed, sage and calendula.
It may be necessary to experiment with various shampoos and ingredients until one is found which is suitable for the individual.
where dandruff persists, it may be necessary to get medical attention
from the local physician or a dermatologist.
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